Jessica Smith’s recent post, Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth, on the School of Government’s North Carolina Criminal Law blog reminded readers about the use notice and demand statutes in cases involving lab reports or chain of custody statements. Notice and demand statutes, in a nutshell, allow prosecutors to obtain a waiver of a defendant’s confrontation rights by providing to the defendant notice of the state’s intention to introduce lab reports or chain of custody statements without live testimony. If the defendant does not object, such evidence may be introduced at trial without the testimony of the analyst or evidence custodian.
Prof. Smith’s post provides a useful table which summarizes the requirements of the notice and demand statutes. The table and additional information is also available in this School of Government Bulletin. Attorneys who wish to object should refer to the table and the corresponding statutes to determine the timing of their objection/demand for live testimony. A sample Notice of Objection is available on the IDS forensics website (scroll down to “Other Motions and Orders”).
Update: See this 7/25 post by Jessica Smith on proper execution of notice and demand procedures and recent case law addressing notice and demand.